Wednesday, April 19

This Has Got To Be a Dream!!

Or Perhaps It's "Fake News"??

I should have been in bed HOURS ago, but when I stumbled across this headline, I just had to see what it was about... Now I know why I couldn't stand him all these years, not on talk shows, not on game shows, and not on the radio. He might have looked like a human on the surface, but underneath was a smarmy, oily, orange is his favorite color, Trumper. I'm going to be watching him though; I want to see just what Steve Harvey means by "working with HUD", and "going to get some housing for some underprivileged people".  In my opinion, in exchange for him appearing with #notmypresident Donald Trump just for appearances (just like the black ministers) Steve Harvey is going to get some perks, like getting housing for distant members of his family. <sigh> What a shame...

Steve Harvey Says Donald Trump Is Keeping His Promises
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Steve Harvey is still drinking Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Largo Kool-Aid and says Trump is keeping his promises about affordable housing.
“Well, I mean as far as doing he promised me to do, he’s doing it. I’m working with HUD. I’m going to get some housing for underprivileged people,” Harvey said when TMZ caught up with him.
When the TMZ cameraman asked if he’s happy with Trump’s work, Harvey laughed.
“I didn’t say that. All I said was he’s keeping his word to what he said he would so,” Harvey replied.
So, let me get this straight. A comedian-actor-game show host is working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to get housing. And a former surgeon with no housing background is working at HUD.
Welcome to Trump’s America.

By Yesha Callahan 
Senior Editor. I am not one of your little school friends.

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the blog owner. They do not in any way represent the opinions of Blogger, Chrome, Yesha Callahan, or any friends, relatives, employees, or representatives of those entities. 

Tuesday, April 18

Destroying the Stereotypes

There ARE Young Black Men Who Are Not Incarcerated and Who Are Not DEADBEATS...


Coming out of the grocery store the other day I saw something that made me actually stop for a moment. It's embarrassing now to think about it, but it hit me so hard that as I walked away I felt the burn of unshed tears. It wasn't anything big, or grand; it was something that I'm sure people see every day of the week and never think twice about. This time though, with all the depressive things going on in the world, for me this was like a tiny little flame burning against a strong wind, burning steady and burning bright, despite all the mud being thrown at it.

There was a young man standing outside; there wasn't anything remarkable about him, (other than the fact that I couldn't see his undershorts, which with most young men today you can because their jeans sag so low!) or maybe I just didn't notice because of what he was doing. In one hand he held a small bottle, and he seemed to be crooning very softly, not to himself, but to the young baby he was feeding. Now, it's been quite some time since I held a newborn, so I'm not sure I could be accurate in judging one's age, but if pressed, I would say the child was between 3 and 6 months old. Not an age where they lie quietly most of the time! When I came out he was feeding her;  I had several heavy bags so I set them down and just stood watching him. 

That's the picture I should have captured, the way he crooned (or talked, I saw lips moving but couldn't hear him) to her and gently rocked her with a happy smile. I could only imagine how she must have been looking up at him to make him beam at her the way he was. He must have felt someone looking at him because he suddenly looked up and around; when he saw me I was kind of embarrassed to have been caught staring at him like that, so I hurriedly grabbed my bags and went to the car. Once inside though, I couldn't forget what an awesome picture that was, a picture of one of the good black men out here, one that is completely different from the stereotypical brush that brothers have been painted with. I began to get angry, thinking to myself  "Why do we never see this on the evening news, or in the newspaper, instead of the reports we always see of a brother lying on the ground with handcuffs on, his pants down around his thighs, and a cop's foot in his back?" Why are people always posting on Facebook when someone gets busted (not knowing or caring what effect that could have on that young man's life!) When people hear those reports they act like it's normal, it's expected! To see someone like this young man,  and his child is so unexpected that it catches us off guard (and God help me, I'm guilty of it too!) . 




I realized that there was a way that I could show a little piece of the reality, rather than more of the stereotype. I went back with my phone in my hand, and I must have had a strange look on my face, because as he watched me approach he began to be concerned. I could tell by the way his arm tightened imperceptibly around the baby, and by the fact that his smile seemed to be forced.


As I got closer I began to speak quickly,  to let him know that I wasn't some crazy. I explained to him that I have a blog, and I wanted to post about him, and his baby, to combat the stereotyped picture the world has of black men, especially young ones. I told him that I wanted to take a couple of pictures of him and the baby, to put in the post. He still looked a bit puzzled, but he agreed. I didn't ask his name, or the baby's, (and if I knew them I wouldn't post them) and I told him that I'd blot their faces out if he wanted me to; fortunately for me he said no, that was okay.

I think I was truly blessed that day to see something beautiful, something that shouldn't be so rare that we feel compelled to remark on it when we see it.

However, since society has determined that 'black male' is synonymous with 'deadbeat dad', since 'they' paint black men with the wide brush of stereotypical negatives instead of admitting that there are spaces in that brush, here's a glimpse at one of those spaces. One of those spaces where black men have sole custody of small children, know how to braid a 7 year old girl's hair for school, men that are home for dinner at night (or at least before the children go to bed because  they worked late), and this space, a space where on a Sunday afternoon a black man takes the hungry baby outside to feed and quiet her, while Mommy finishes the shopping with their older child, after which they all walk home, together.


Just When I Thought I Could Change the Subject

Here They Come Again With This Mess!!


I'm not saying that I thought police were not still 'killing/beating up/lying about their actions with' black people; I'm not that naive! I did think I was through writing about it though. It was getting so regular, and the stories were all the same, especially the ending when there is no punishment (or even reprimand) for the officers involved. This case though.... what they did to this young man was so blatant and vicious, and what happened to them was so surprising, that I just had to write this down! 

This should also open the eyes of some of the more intelligent of the 'Trumpettes' ; the 'good ole boy' types who believe that whatever the police say is right, that they are 'only doing their jobs', and that black men 'always fight the officer, resist being arrested, run from the police', and if they didn't the police wouldn't have to use force to 'subdue' them. These videos, and the outcome of this case, should show some of you at least that there are times when the 'victim' (because that's what this young man was, a victim of police brutality) is not lying. Two separate people, from two different directions (cars) saw injustice happening and did what they could to show the world.  Despite what the victim told the police, if it had not been for those videos surfacing which backed up his version, the world would have seen him as just another 'black criminal trying to lie on the white man.' 


Not this time.


Two police officers fired after video shows handcuffed man being kicked in the head

 
Two Georgia police officers have been fired after videos surfaced on social media showing them punching and then kicking a man in the head, authorities said.

Gwinnett County police said late Thursday that Sgt. Michael Bongiovanni was fired after authorities discovered a video showing Bongiovanni punching the man in the face as the man stepped from a vehicle with his hands up. Earlier, authorities had fired Officer Robert McDonald, who was captured in a different video kicking the man in the head as he lay handcuffed on the ground.

                    
“The revelations uncovered in this entire investigation are shocking,” police said in a statement after Bongiovanni’s termination. “ … We acknowledge that the actions of these two officers have implications that will be felt for some time. However, we also believe that our decisive action in terminating both officers speaks volumes about what is expected of each officer that wears a Gwinnett County Police badge.”

Former Gwinnett County police sergeant Michael Bongiovanni, left, and former police officer Robert McDonald. 
(Courtesy of Gwinnett County Police Department)

The incident, which quickly went viral on social media, occurred about 4 p.m. Wednesday. One video, which was shot from across the street, shows a man getting out of a vehicle with his hands raised before the arresting officer punches him in the face.

The other video, shot from a different angle, begins as that officer is struggling with the man as he gets out of the vehicle and raises his hands. Shortly after the man is subdued by the officer and handcuffed, a second officer arrives on the scene and kicks the man in the head.

A struggle ensues before the officers search the man’s pockets. Both officers are white; the man, who is black, was identified as 21-year-old Demetrius Bryan Hollins of Lawrenceville, Ga., according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

 The nonprofit community group Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta condemned the officers Thursday evening in a Facebook post.
                   

Hollins told NBC News that he was trying to get to the camera app on his own cellphone Wednesday to record the encounter. He said one officer started “shoving me in my car and telling me that I was never going to have a video, that I was never going to make the phone call to my mom. When I had my hands up, that’s when he punched me in the face.”

Hollins told the news station that when he was handcuffed and lying on the ground, “another cop came out of nowhere and stomped me in the face.”

He was charged with multiple traffic citations, obstruction of a police officer and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Hollins’s {sic} attorney, Justin Miller, told NBC News that had the moment not been captured on video, it may have been overlooked.

“The fact that these guys felt so brazen as to … assault him in public in broad daylight in front of hundreds of onlookers and hundreds of cars is indicative of what they think is okay,” Miller told the news station. Without the videos, he added, “they would have painted him as the bad guy, arrested him, brushed it under the rug and probably did it to them again the next time they saw him.”

Gwinnett County Police Chief Butch Ayers said at a news conference Thursday that McDonald, a three-year veteran on the force, was responding to assist Bongiovanni during a traffic stop when he “got tunnel vision.”

Police said Hollins was pulled over for having a broken taillight and then resisted Bongiovanni. But by the time McDonald arrived, Hollis was on the ground and no longer resisting, Ayers said, noting that no use of force was necessary.

“This incident — this type of force and this action — was uncalled for,” the police chief said Thursday. “It shouldn’t have happened. There is no excuse for it. We have taken appropriate and swift action to deal with this. This officer and his actions do not represent the men and women of this police department who put their lives on the line every single day to protect this county.”


 The chief said that the officer apologized for his actions but that the footage still made him angry. “I was upset and it felt like I had been gut-punched,” Ayers said.

During an internal investigation, authorities discovered a second video Thursday, filmed by a witness and posted online, that was “contrary to what was reported by Michael Bongiovanni,” police said in the statement. That video showed Bongiovanni strike the man in the face before the other officer had arrived, police said.

Black Lives Matter of Greater Atlanta also referred to the second video on its Facebook page. (This video is from ABC News.)




Bongiovanni was hired in 1998 and graduated from the police academy in 1999, according to the police department.

The police chief said during the news conference that a plan is in place to outfit uniformed officers with body cameras by the end of the year.

Asked what message the incident sends, Ayers told reporters: “We have standards, we have policies, and we’re going to hold ourselves to those standards and to those policies. And if you violate those, there will be a swift investigation. And if those complaints are found to be sustained, action will be taken.”

This story has been updated.

Sunday, April 16

Kentucky Student’s Portrait Comparing KKK To Police Shakes School District

So I wonder just what the school district was so shaken up about? Because the police were being compared to the Klan, who in their heyday were routinely responsible for lynchings, beatings, castrations, etc? Or was it that the Klan was being compared to the police today, who routinely shoot young, unarmed black men and women? Either way, it seems like no one comes out of the comparison very well....


Kentucky Student’s Portrait Comparing KKK To Police Shakes School District: An English student’s comparison of a Ku Klux Klan member to a police officer in a school assignment rocked a Kentucky high school and brought about a contentious discussion regarding social i…

Tuesday, March 14

When Does Making a Choice Seem Like No Choice At All?

When You're 60, Sick, and Trying To Get Good Healthcare Coverage.

At least that's what the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) says in the report it just issued on the AHCA, which is the acronym for the American Health Care Act, or 'Trumpcare' if we are to follow the Republican naming conventions. 'Trumpcare' is supposed to replace 'Obamacare', as Trump still insists on calling it. It was actually named the Affordable Care Act, which was one of the main focuses of the plan. We keep hearing that the new plan is going to be better, but what I wonder is, better for who?

Judge for yourself....



We finally have some numbers on what the Republicans’ proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act is going to do to health insurance coverage and costs. The estimate, from the Congressional Budget Office, says that 24 million of us will lose coverage, and the rest of us will probably see our deductibles go up.
You can read the full report here. The CBO only looks at big picture questions, like what happens to the deficit and how many people will lose coverage each year. It’s not a crystal ball that can tell you what happens to the particular plan that you’re on now. But with this information, we can make some good guesses.
By the way, this bill is still very far away from becoming law, although Republicans in Congress are trying to hurry it along. It hasn’t yet had a vote by the full House of Representatives, and after that it would need to go to the Senate. President Trump would be able to veto it after that if he wanted to keep his campaign promises to “have coverage for everybody” and enact “no cuts to...Medicaid.”
This bill is also only the first stage of a three-point plan. Later, Congress will consider cutting essential benefits like maternity care, so insured people get even less for their money. But that’s all in the future—let’s look at the legislation that’s in front of Congress right now.
Will I Lose Insurance Coverage?
You might. If the bill is passed, 24 million people will lose coverage by 2026.
Right now, about 10 percent of people are uninsured. If the ACA stays in place, that number will hold steady. If the American Health Care Act replaces it, the total people uninsured in this country will go up to 19 percent. That’s even higher than pre-ACA numbers.
The CBO figures the people who lose coverage will include:
  • 4 million people who stop buying insurance this year because the tax penalty won’t be enforced. If you currently only have insurance because you’re afraid of the penalty, this is you.
  • 14 million people who would otherwise be eligible for Medicaid.These include a lot of low income adults in the 31 states that participated in the Medicaid expansion. Medicaid also provides care for kids, people with disabilities, and seniors in long term care. Medicaid cuts and caps begin in 2020.
  • 2 million people (each year) who had a gap in coverage and would have to pay a 30 percent penalty for a year when they buy coverage again. The penalty makes people want to keep coverage when they have it, so an initial 1 million will avoid dropping coverage at first.
  • Plus a bunch of people who say “no thanks” when premiums get too high. Older people face serious premium hikes; younger people won’t be as hard hit, but other changes mean insurance won’t be as good a deal for them.
A lot of the uninsured will be people who buy their insurance on the exchanges or who use Medicaid, but the CBO also estimates that some employers will stop offering insurance as a benefit—affecting perhaps 2 million people, who could still choose to buy a plan on their own. On the bright side, your employer might take the money they save and put it into different benefits or give you a small raise.
Will My Premiums Get More or Less Expensive?
First the one, then the other—if you’re young. For older folks, premiums will go up and up.
At first, premiums on the individual market will go up by 15 to 20 percent. With the tax penalty repealed, the young, healthy folks who choose to go without insurance won’t be paying into insurance plans. That means premiums have to go up for the people who stay.
By 2026, premiums will end up slightly cheaper, on average, than they would be if we continued under the ACA. (The CBO did not compare these to what premiums cost today, so it might still be more than what you’re currently paying.)
Currently, the ACA helps people buy insurance by paying part of your premium if you fall below a certain income level (400 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $24,000 this year). The amount of help you get is tied to your income level and to the cost of insurance in your area.But there’s a catch. Premiums will be cheaper because insurance will cover less. You’re not getting the same coverage for less money, you’re just getting less coverage. As we’ll see below, you’ll be on the hook for more costs through high deductibles and cost sharing.
The AHCA’s plan to help people afford insurance is to drop those and offer a tax credit that is larger for older people. But at the same time, they allow insurers to charge old folks five times as much as younger customers. The new tax credit barely makes a dent in those expected premiums.
Here’s an example: in 2026, under the ACA, a single person who makes $26,500 would pay $1,700 in premiums each year, no matter their age. Under the AHCA, if it passes, a 21-year-old would pay $1,450 (hey, not bad) but a 60-year-old would pay $14,600. That’s more than half of their very small income. If that person had a gap in coverage, the penalty would bring the total to 77 percent of their income, leaving just $6000 for everything else that person has to pay for in their life. Including their deductible.
Will My Deductible Still Be Sky-High?
Yes.
Actually, it will probably get even worse. Right now, the cheapest insurance plans must cover at least 60 percent of their customers’ costs. Those are the “bronze” plans, and the other tiers cover more: 70 percent for silver, 80 for gold, 90 for platinum. If an insurer wants to participate in the Marketplace, it must offer a silver and a gold plan.
The AHCA takes away those requirements, so an insurer could decide to only offer low coverage plans. The CBO guesses that plans that cover less than bronze would be rare. It also estimates that plans that cover more than bronze will be rare, because those plans would attract sicker people that would rack up higher medical costs, so insurers might not be able to make them profitable.
High deductibles are a very simple way to make insurance cheaper (to entice people to buy it) but they also make insurance less helpful. If a plan only covers 60 percent of costs, on average, a lot of people will be maxing out their deductibles, and perhaps paying coinsurance and copays, too. The ACA currently provides subsidies for these “cost sharing” measures to certain low income folks. Those subsidies are going away, so the deductibles will sting even more.
Will I Still Be Able to Purchase Coverage If I Want It?
The good news is that the CBO sees the insurance market as stable—no “death spiral” resulting in the failure of the industry—under both the ACA and its replacement. So, insurance will still be around. A few employers will drop insurance as a benefit, as we mentioned, but you can still buy your own.
It may be harder to compare plans, though. Without the plan tiers, it will be harder to tell which plan is a better deal than another. And there will no longer be a requirement for plans to sell their insurance on the exchange websites like healthcare.gov, which was a handy one-stop shop.
Your choice of plans will probably change. There will probably be plenty of lower coverage plans available, which are the cheapest kind. But if you want to buy high coverage insurance (with, for example, small deductibles), there’s no guarantee that insurers will offer any.
You may also simply be unable to afford insurance if you are older, if you have a low income, or if you live in an area where insurance tends to be very expensive. The ACA’s subsidies helped in those situation, but those will be gone if the new law passes. You will, in a sense, have the “choice” to go without insurance or to buy a low coverage plan, but without a lot of cash you won’t really have a choice to buy insurance at all.

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Sunday, March 12

Another Blot On An Otherwise Still Beautiful City

How many towns have something like this buried in their 'closet'?

     I marvel sometimes at just how many small towns (and big cities) have something like this buried deep in their community memory.  I was never even aware that these kinds of secrets existed until Ving Rhames did such an awesome job in the movie  'Rosewood'. (The town in FL where the hunting down and massacring of blacks took place because of one married white woman who didn't want her husband to find out she'd cheated on him, so she lied and said she'd been raped and beat up by a black man,) That was probably the beginning of my search for long-buried secrets, and little known black facts that I could use to educate my brothers and sisters about what we've been up against all these many years, and what we're STILL fighting to get away from.  This one was named The Parchman Ordeal, and it happened in Natchez, MS.

Beautiful Natchez, MS
  

Parchman Ordeal: Natchez, Miss., Apologizes for Shipping Hundreds of Innocent Black People to State Penitentiary

  
   Fifty years ago, police in Natchez, Miss., rounded up hundreds of innocent, civil rights protesters 

  and shipped them off to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. Last week, the city's mayor 
  
  and Board of Aldermen publicly apologized for the grave injustice, the Natchez Democrat reports.
In anticipation of the national spotlight that will illuminate the city next year during its tricentennial celebration, the board decided that it was time to make amends and did so in a public resolution.
In October 1965, approximately 700 black citizens who congregated at a local auditorium were arrested for organizing a march in protest of racist voter disenfranchisement. The ordinance cited in the mass arrest was later determined to be unconstitutional, according to Darrell White, director of the Natchez Museum of African American History and Culture. But that didn't matter to the good old boys.
Two hundred of those arrested were shipped off to Parchman, a prison notorious for its inhumane conditions, where they were subjected to mistreatment and abuse. According to the Democrat, the protesters never went before a judge or had their day in court.
White and Galen Mark LaFrancis are in the process of filming a documentary to shed light on the Parchman Ordeal, which, along with other Natchez stories—like the 1967 Ku Klux Klan slaying of Wharlest Jackson—has flown below the nation's radar.
Community activist Dr. Betty Cade, who spearheaded the efforts, told the paper that the public apology "is the first step in getting this out in the open and letting us heal" as the city, once the second-largest slave-trading post in the United States and the largest in the state of Mississippi, heads into its 300th year.
Mayor Larry L. "Butch" Brown agrees.
"The city of Natchez must stare down its shame for the mistreatment of hundreds of innocent, black Natchezians," read Brown during a reconciliation banquet at a local church. " … for 50 years, the city has failed to acknowledge publicly the disgrace of the Parchman Ordeal. The city failed its citizens and failed the principles of this nation.
"Even though it has been a long time coming," Brown continued, "it is not too late to recognize and apologize to those true heroes of Natchez who bravely endured degradation in advancing the cause of equality before the law."  
Let's be clear: A public apology may be great P.R., it may even be well-intentioned, but it is not justice.
I was born and raised in Natchez, Miss. (full disclosure: I consider Mayor Brown a family friend), and this I know to be true: An apology is not nearly enough. "We're sorry" does not rectify the generations of white privilege that are evident in every crevice of this town, or the accepted system of white supremacy that leaves that privilege relatively unchallenged.
It's 2015. We are long past the stage of "first steps."
I think about the plantation economic structure in Natchez and how much the tourism industry is fueled by the blood and broken bones of slaves. This is a town where symbols of that "peculiar institution," including a restaurant shaped like a giant mammy—affectionately called "Black Mammy's" by those racist locals who see nothing wrong with it—is considered a local treasure, and Civil War re-enactments and Confederate flags are considered a part of its charm.
Natchez is home to dozens of gorgeous, immaculately preserved antebellum homes—built by enslaved Africans—that bring tourists from around the world to gaze in awe at a city "where the Old South still lives." It is a city that unapologetically celebrates and profits from a time period when black people in this country were considered less than chattel.
Still, improvements to the infrastructure of black neighborhoods remain minimal; increases in job and business opportunities for people of color remain scarce; educated and skilled educators in an underperforming school district aren't given the resources they need to provide high-quality and globally competitive education for students of color, while private resources are funneled into predominantly white private schools; and limited access to affordable, high-quality, comprehensive health care is evidence of why Mississippi is dangerous for black people in more ways than one.
Despite popular opinion, I don't say these things because I hate Natchez; I say these things because I know it has the potential to be so much better. I say them because my father, two grandfathers and grandmother, who all at different points served on the Board of Aldermen, would say the same thing.
An apology is merely symbolic. Now let's talk about substance.
If the city's robust tourism industry—an industry built on the backs of enslaved Africans and their descendants—is to continue operation, then a percentage of the profits should go toward the redevelopment of a once-thriving black community, an endeavor that engaged community leaders have already undertaken with some success.
If that sounds like reparations, it's because it is. And that's a public conversation worth having—beginning with financial settlements for the individuals wrongfully arrested, abused and denied due process during the Parchman Ordeal.
The apology may allow some members in local government to celebrate the city's tricentennial with a clear conscience, but this city's debt to humanity is not paid. No symbolic gesture of reconciliation for past injustice—no matter how overdue or warranted—is enough, not when systemic injustice is considered business as usual.
  I'll save my applause until there's a resolution on what the local government plans to   
 do about that.  
                         by  Kirsten West Savali 
                                  

And I, for one, will be watching for updates on this story, watching to see just what the local government does plan to do about it.

Wednesday, March 1

Nothing Deep Today, I'm On a Rant!!

What Has Happened to Customer Service?


It's been allowed to grow old and die, that's what's happened to it! Somehow the old way of doing things, of caring for the people who pay your bills everyday, THE CUSTOMERS, has gone the way of the dodo bird and tight short shorts on male basketball players. No one cares anymore, no one is being taught manners, or chivalry or given a book by Emily Post! What does this say for the people of this world?

This is what set me off today:

I don't normally do a product or service review unless I've really really liked something, but I'm making an exception today. This Early Bird Books has me so angry; the page had 5 books marked as free, with Amazon, Barnes & Noble,  iTunes, and Open Road Media listed as places to purchase them from. YES, I said purchase!!
  
Banner from Early Bird Books website
(Click on the caption if you'd like to visit the page for yourself.)

Let me clarify something. My preferred method of reading nowadays is on my Kindle HDX 7, so I exclusively use Amazon when ordering books. Of the 5 books listed, one (1) was available for free, the other four (4) had prices listed!!! I did not check the other retailers, so perhaps the books are free somewhere else, but all the title says is "Free Ebooks to Download Today".  There is no qualifying statement, or explanation given that might shed some light on the situation I found myself in after doing all the clicking through to see if I could get what they were offering.  After staring at the title of the site about 50 times, something caught my attention; above the books is the title , and the Share buttons and blah blah blah, but there is also the date. The date on it is February 24, 2017!! That should  make me feel better, right? Okay they probably WERE free back then! It doesn't make it better though, for me it makes it worse. What happened to the customer service that should have been taking care of stuff like this? To me it says that the site has not been updated, no one has even bothered to remove the old content, so no one gives a hoot about any prospective customers or even the returning customers who might want to see something new!! 

What kind of shady outfit is this that cares so little for the people who use its site? 

Has anyone else had any experience with them?

Thursday, February 23

He Claims It's Because It Should Be Left Up To the States

He Also Claims the Legal Issues Weren't Researched Enough


     So what is the real reason? I'm sure whatever it is, we're not going to be told the truth... He wouldn't be Trump if he was totally honest, would he?

     I'm just so bothered by this topic. I worry about the students in the bathroom, but not the same ones that Jeff Sessions  claims to be worried about. I worry about the *transgender girls who now have to go relieve themselves in the boys room (and we all know how schoolboys can be!!), and vice versa. I guess in some respects I do worry about the CIS students too; think about *transgender boys, like Gavin Grimm; he looks like just what he is, a boy. Some of those young CIS girls will have to look into the face of someone like him in the mirror next to them when they're adjusting their clothes. What kind of trauma is THAT for those kids? Yet the Trump administration obviously doesn't give a damn about that, all they care about is giving in to the pressure from the 'religious zealots' who want us to go back into the time of the Salem witch trials when they could just accuse anyone who is different of being a witch and burn them at the stake. Oh no, there's one other thing they care about; getting rid of anything good that the Obama administration did over the last 8 years, with no concern for the millions of people who are going to suffer. 

     Reading this article just drove home to me once more the direction this country is headed in. My President, Barack Obama, made a statement in one of his exit interviews about Trump. In his opinion, (and mine) he took us up quite a ways from where we were, and if Hilary had won we would have continued to rise. Now with Trump, we're not only NOT going to rise, we're going to go down lower than we were. We may not lose everything he did for us, but people like Trump are dang sure going to try!!

Trump Rescinds Rules on Bathrooms for Transgender Students

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind.
In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.
That directive, they said, was improperly and arbitrarily devised, “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy.”
The question of how to address the “bathroom debate,” as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, who had been expected to move quickly to roll back the civil rights expansions put in place under his Democratic predecessors, wanted to act decisively because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation.

Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, initially resisted
signing off on the order and told President Trump that she was
uncomfortable with it.
Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times
But Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Mr. Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.
Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.
Ms. DeVos’s unease was evident in a strongly worded statement she released on Wednesday night, in which she said she considered it a “moral obligation” for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.
She said she had directed the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights to investigate all claims of such treatment “against those who are most vulnerable in our schools,” but also argued that bathroom access was not a federal matter.
Gay rights supporters made their displeasure clear. Outside the White House, several hundred people protested the decision, chanting, “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.”
Individual schools will remain free to let transgender students use the bathrooms with which they are most comfortable. And the effect of the administration’s decision will not be immediate because a federal court had already issued a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Obama order.
The dispute highlighted the degree to which transgender rights issues, which Mr. Trump expressed sympathy for during the campaign, continue to split Republicans, even as many in the party argue that it is time to move away from social issues and focus more on bread-and-butter pocketbook concerns.
Within the administration, it also threatened to become another distraction for Mr. Trump after a tumultuous first month in office. And it showed how Mr. Trump, who has taken a more permissive stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage than many of his fellow Republicans, is bowing to pressure from the religious right and contradicting his own personal views.
Social conservatives, one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal constituencies, applauded him for honoring a pledge he had made to them during the campaign. They had argued that former President Barack Obama’s policy would allow potential sexual predators access to bathrooms and create an unsafe environment for children.
“The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.
But supporters of transgender rights said the Trump administration was acting recklessly and cruelly. “The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “This isn’t a states’ rights issue; it’s a civil rights issue.”
Bathroom access emerged as a major and divisive issue last March when North Carolina passed a bill barring transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificate. It was part of a broader bill eliminating anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people.
Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues became a point of attack for opponents of Ms. DeVos’s nomination last month, as Democrats questioned her about the extensive financial support that some of her relatives — part of her wealthy and politically active Michigan family — had provided to anti-gay causes. Ms. DeVos distanced herself from her relatives on the issue, saying their political activities did not represent her views.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions pushed the administration
to rescind the Obama-era policy.CreditAl Drago/The New York Times
While Wednesday’s order significantly rolls back transgender protections, it does include language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked for, one person with direct knowledge of the process said.
“All schools must ensure that students, including L.G.B.T. students, are able to learn and thrive in a safe environment,” the letter said, echoing Ms. DeVos’s comments at her confirmation hearing but not expressly using the word transgender. Ms. DeVos, who has been quietly supportive of gay rights for years, was said to have voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender students. In one 2016 study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, for instance, 30 percent reported a history of at least one suicide attempt.
Mr. Trump appears to have been swayed by conservatives in his administration who reminded him that he had promised during the campaign to leave the question of bathroom use to the states.
But he had given conflicting signals on the issue, and on gay rights more broadly. He said last April, for instance, that he supported the right of transgender people to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate,” and added that Caitlyn Jenner, perhaps the most famous transgender person in the country, could use whichever bathroom at Trump Tower she wanted. He has also called the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage settled law. “And I’m fine with that,” he told CBS News after the November election.
Despite his personal views, Mr. Trump’s decisions in office have been consistently conservative on social issues. And he has shown considerable deference to the religious right, naming many religious conservatives to top cabinet posts and pledging to fight for religious freedom protections and restrictions on abortion.
The Justice Department is eager to move quickly in laying out its legal position on transgender policy, to avoid confusion in cases moving through the courts.

The dispute has underscored the influence that Mr. Sessions, an early and ardent supporter of Mr. Trump, is likely to exercise over domestic policy. As someone who has a long record of opposing efforts to broaden federal protections on a range of matters under his purview — immigration, voting rights and gay rights, for example — he has moved quickly to set the Justice Department on a strikingly different course than his predecessors in the Obama administration.

Eric Lichtblau and Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.
*If I made any errors in terminology, my sincerest apologies; believe me, it came from not being sure of the correct terms to use. If someone would be willing to educate me (if I was wrong) I would really appreciate it. The Author